Chinesewares, white beads and wire.

One of the perks of working at Sothebys auction house was that every time Sothebys had a sale, our Cape Town office would receive a catalogue of the sale before it happened. I have spent many lunch hours paging through catalogues of Contemporary Art Sales in New York, Entire Castle Sales in England, The Contents of Grand Venetian Palaces, Wine Auctions in Hong Kong, Important Jewel sales in Geneva and Early Chinese White, Green and Black ware in London.

These Chinese ceramic catalogues were filled with pieces of such sublime simplicity and they were photographed so beautifully, that I fell instantly in love with their timeless silhouettes. These pieces have been around for hundreds upon hundreds years and have definitely stood the test of time. They have never gone out of fashion. This excited me as much as their shapes did.

So I did what anyone working with beads in a new and exciting way would do – I asked some talented ‘beadsmiths’ to create over-sized versions of some of the Chinesewares that I had admired in the sleek catalogues. The results of which can be found below. I am thrilled with the way in which they have turned out!

…Africa meets China… Afro-Chinoiserie!

The ‘Chinesewares’ were recently chosen to be part of the  2012 CCDI Hand-Made Collection. A Wonderful Honour for all involved.

A collection of Chinesewares shot in Cape Town, October 2011

p.s. Please note that the vase with the flared opening is a British 20th Century Lucie Rie interpretation. I have admired it on a V&A postcard for quite a while on my desk. I adore it and I think it works with the other beaded shapes.

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5 Responses to Chinesewares

  1. david bb says:

    aha, I thought I spotted Ms Rie’s silhouette.

    I like the engraved grooves have become externalised

  2. david bb says:

    oops, typo, I like the way the engraved grooves have become externalised

  3. Thank you David BB. I cannot wait to share with you another project that Serpentine is working on – that combines Song Dynasty Decoration, the above shapes and light. Watch this space…

  4. renee r says:

    its so awesome MC. really pretty!

  5. Lisa Veit says:

    ….I don’t LIKE this, I LOVE it!!!

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